White isn’t as simple as you might think. Popular as a generic color for walls and appliances, white is often seen as a simple, go-to color. Actually, there is a plethora of shades of white, each one complementing other colors in different ways. There are also different finishes for white, including sheer, gloss, high gloss, and matte. So how do you know which one to choose? Andrea Magno, a color and design expert with Benjamin Moore, said there are three main tips to follow.
Warm whites and cool whites
White can be warm with the right cast. Warm pink and peach are good for making the white appear less stark. You can then pair the appropriate accessories with your warm white. Coral and yellow look good with this kind of white. You could also choose a warm gray, which when paired with both yellow and white creates one of the more popular color combos in interior design. A cool cast of blue or green might be a good choice for a bathroom or a room that gets really hot. Visual coolness can help trick the body into believing the temperature is cooler than it really is.
Finishing your white
Second, Magno suggested homeowners do the following: “Try using whites with different finishes in one space. This can create an elegant and layered look.” For instance, Magno suggested using high gloss white for trim and doors, then using matte or eggshell finish on the walls. Even if you use the same color of white, then, there will be a distinction just perceptible to the eye. Stain finishes create a glowing appearance because it reflects light, both natural and artificial.
Consider your exterior
It might surprise you, but you should also consider the quality of light and vegetation outside your home. The colors that surround your home’s exterior will reflect in the white of your room. “Are there lots of trees and vegetation outside large windows, and will that color reflect onto the white of your walls?” Magno asked. “If so, select a white that will react well to the influence of green.” The same goes for a desert environment; choose a color that reflects browns well.
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